Solitude In the Flames | LMAC Collage FreeStyle No. 25


For my Freestyle Collage No. 25, my theme is solitude. Does it hold true that to be at peace and in a relaxed state of mind that one must be surrounded by calm and pleasing conditions? I believe the choice is personal. For some, this may hold true. For others, peace may be sought in the presence of intense, dark, and a sense of the dramatic.


Solitude In the Flames

The reunion was buzzing with games for team sports, delicious aroma of home-cooked food, and family, some traveling from other states to attend. Decorated in fall colors, the festive grounds of the family estate took on the colors of the landscape. Autumn yellow, burnt orange, rich browns, and vibrant red tables surrounded the canopies as family members gathered to meet and greet each other.

Children with high-pitched laughter circled Raymond, attempting to entice him to join in their play.

But thoughts of Deborah dulled his senses. The breakup two days ago was still fresh. He heard not the children. Only the stinging words of rejection with lingering questions still rang in his ears.

He shouldn't have come, he thought.

However, the commitment had already been made. Judging the cook-off contest was important; angering his brother if he didn't choose his famous brisket, not so much.

The accusations of inadequacy floored him. They came from left field and wounded him deeply.

Now, questioning his self-worth, he felt lonely and isolated from his family. He looked to the sky for consolation. The intense heat of the summer day answered, looking down upon his tear-stained face.

Not in front of the family, he thought. Moving away from the activities, he walked until out of sight through the woods, then perched on a nearby rock.


Thoughts of his sessions with a friend came to the forefront. Still no breakthrough as he hadn't released the guilt from his childhood.

Desperate for answers this past ten years, Raymond couldn't shake the feeling his actions alone caused his family's pain and suffering. He stood frozen. Watching the flames devour the entire housing complex, emotion trickled through his veins, taking with it his memories of more pleasant times.

Leaving was not his choice. Rather to be consumed in the agonizing pain lodged near his heart. It kept him sane. It kept him pushing forward. He didn't have a choice.

He needed help. He just couldn't grasp the concept of his feeling of isolation. His answer was to shut himself away from others. That way, he wouldn't feel the hurt of losing some family members for his carelessness.

Over time, being alone felt good. It gave him time to think. No condemnation, No accusing looks. No expectations.

Solitude was his answer, he reasoned. Cemented in his mind was the definition of himself: I am a solitude person.

However, he did seek counseling in which his friend attempted to explain the difference in his feeling of isolation as compared to solitude.

"Raymond, you must realize and reconcile in your mind that the isolation and loneliness you feel and distancing yourself is not solitude. The deep-routed issue is what must be addressed before you can move forward."

He continued.

"Solitude is when you purposely make a choice to be alone and give yourself time to work out your problems or to relax with pleasant activities you fill the time with. If you define yourself as a solitude person, then have a reason; have a plan; do something constructive or fun activity. This is solitude." She felt as if some progress was close."*

Raymond seemed to grasp the concept. Then, the break up.

Sitting on the rocks, he prayed. No answer. Suddenly, he was consumed with calm as the heat beat down and surged around him.

A thin veil of waterdrop solitude surrounded him. Birds chirped in the distance. His parents faces lit up in the flames. He could hear their voices. He smiled.



In preparing my freestyle theme, I wanted to portray a serene setting as opposite of the young man who felt alone. I utilized a previous contest image provided by @shaka that showed an approaching sunset in the distance. I wanted to use this as the bottom landscape:

Previous LMAC Contest Round 161 Image

As inspiration for my theme, I wanted to showcase two of my fractals I created in Apophysis 7X, an upgraded version of the open-source software. One would represent an ember from the flames. The other, a blue bowl, would serve as the receptacle that emitted the cool waterdrop veil to protect the young man.



To represent a person meditating, I located an image I feel portrays an intense scene with a person sitting in front of a fire pit.


Below are the additional images from the LMAC LIL I included to complete my scene:


Thanks for your visit. I hope you like my freestyle collage theme.




It is imperative that you read the post LMAC School - Public Domain Picture sources (Free Materials for creating collages) by @quantumg, which discusses public domain issues. The post offers valuable information on images for commercial use. Links are included to sources that offer public domain images and other images that are free for commercial uses. Using public domain pictures and free pictures for commercial use are requirements for all collages that are submitted as entries in the LMAC contest and the LMAC Image Library (LIL).

What is Let's Make a Collage?It is a weekly photography and collage contest.
Who created the contest?@shaka is the contest owner.
What type of contest is it?This Contest utilizes a single photo provided by the contest owner as the basis for you to create your own photo collage by adding to the photo provided.
What are the rules?1. Use as your starting point for your collage the photography provided by the contest owner. It is located on the contest owner's post for free use without any copyright protection.
2. Entries are required to be posted to the LMAC community and must contain a link to the contest post.
3. Entries need to set the LMAC account (@lmac) as 20% beneficiary to be eligible for the dynamic component of the prize pool.;
4. Extra support with the LMAC trail to all collages where LIL assets have been included AND the respective LIL-contributors set as 2% beneficiaries;
5. By submitting your contribution you agree that your artwork remains public domain and that it can be copied, modified and distributed, even for commercial purposes, without requiring further permission.
6. Any graphical element that is added to the photography either needs to be your own original work (e.g. own artwork or photography) OR needs to derive from sites whitelisted by LMAC.
7. IMPORTANT: Indicate the source of all materials used in your accompanying post. Otherwise your entry can NOT be put up for the final vote.
8. All sort of editing, modification and/or manipulation is allowed as long as no copyright is affected.
What do you win?Prizes listed on the contest owner's post.



Happy rest of the week everyone with whatever your endeavors.







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